ScotRail told Fife commuters getting ‘very raw deal’ with two carriages on trains

An MSP has asked ScotRail when the practice of using only two carriages on Fife trains bound for Edinburgh will end.
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Murdo Fraser MSP has put the issue in the in tray the rail company’s boss, Alex Hynes after more complaints from passengers.

Mr Fraser, Tory MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, said people had bene in touch with his office another incident of an overcrowded train travelling from Burntisland to the Scottish capital at the weekend. He said commuters in Fife were getting “a very raw deal.”

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In his letter to Mr Hynes, Mr Fraser mentions how he boarded a train going from Inverkeithing to Edinburgh earlier this year, that was so overcrowded many passengers could not get on and were left stranded at the platform waiting for the next available service.

The MSP has raised the issue of a lack of carriages after m,ore complaints from commuters (Photo by John Devlin/The Scotsman)The MSP has raised the issue of a lack of carriages after m,ore complaints from commuters (Photo by John Devlin/The Scotsman)
The MSP has raised the issue of a lack of carriages after m,ore complaints from commuters (Photo by John Devlin/The Scotsman)

“I have had many complaints through the years from constituents about the problem of ‘short trains,’ but despite ScotRail promising the issue would be solved it quite clearly is not,” he said. “The latest incident occurred on Saturday when a constituent boarded a train from Burntisland bound for Edinburgh only to find it was completely overcrowded. He described the situation as being ‘packed in like sardines,’ and said that he was lucky to get on board, with many other people stranded at the platform.

“This train only had three carriages. I raised this issue at a meeting with the former Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth and ScotRail back in March, when the rail company said they planned to use at least four carriages and that the problem of overcrowded trains would be improved by May.

“However, I experienced a similar situation myself back in September on a train travelling from Inverkeithing to Edinburgh and subsequently raised the matter with the First Minister at the Scottish Parliament. Following my question, the First Minister promised that the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity of Scotland would look into this issue.”

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Meanwhile, Annabelle Ewing MSP for Cowdenbeath constituency has also been pursuing the issue of peak time overcrowding on trains to Edinburgh. She wrote to the Transport Minister, saying passengers were packed in like sardines.

“The issue of sardine trains at commuting times from stations in my constituency to Edinburgh has been an ongoing battle for many years that remains unresolved. I have been pursuing the matter rigorously and recently secured a response from the Minister for Transport,” she said. “The Minister has said that she appreciates that short forming of some trains and train cancellations are having an impact on commuters and apologises to both me and my constituents. Unfortunately, I remain very disappointed at the response.

“Whilst I appreciate the points Ms Hyslop makes about the performance of ScotRail’s diesel fleet being legacy issues, mainly around staffing level and fleet choices made by the previous Franchisee, I will ensure the views of my constituents are made clear, in no uncertain terms, when I meet with the Minister on 10 January 2024. The fact of the matter is that my constituents feel they are being treated like second class citizens and third class passengers.”

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